Along with three other friends, Minh was having lunch at Antico Caffè on August 27 when the waiter suggested the “seafood – mixed fish” dish from the menu, with a price of €6.5 per 100 grams, she told CNN.
“We agreed because It would be not a big deal to pay €6.5 extra to try a recommendation dish,” Minh said. “But they brought us only one plate of mixed fish around 2 kg.”
“We were kind of surprised when we saw this dish because we didn’t expect ‘100 grams fish’ would be this big. But it was our last day in Italy so we told ourselves it was OK. It’s around 2 kg of fish so I agreed to pay around €130-150 for this dish of fish. We don’t want to have more drama in Italy.”
But when one of her friends asked for the bill, he was asked to pay for 4.8 kg of mixed fish at a cost of €315, Minh said.
Adding €40 of service fee and €40 for the tip, the whole bill was a staggering €476.40.
Tourist complaints over rip-off Rome restaurant mount after viral $500 bill
- Minh Ngoc Bui
Service was included, they felt ripped off, and tipped anyway? Who are they, Americans?
This just sucks and so easy to fall victim too, especially when you don’t speak the local language.
I read some review on them, must be a joint operated by mafia:
Service was terrible. I was literally robbed, because waiter added enormous tips without asking me. Another thing, the waiter recommended a mix of fish, and it appeared to be a huge dish of seafood for 5 people (I asked for 2 people!). Don’t go there! They are thieves.
It’s a very TERRIBLE restaurant I have never been in my life! Unbelievable bill! Charged people UNREASONABLE especially tourist! I ordered 1 pasta but they charged me EUR 400 , they said it’s called “Services Charge” !!! When I refused to pay they have few guys to Intimidate and force me to pay!!
I guess the only way to avoid is to check every place for reviews before entering. That place has a “normal menu”.
Back in the 80s this was a common scam in Little Italy NYC with antipasta plates. The waiter would recommend for the table and then you’d get the bill and the antipasta platter was 4x the rest of the bill.
I hate these stories, they are just so hard to prevent against so make people reluctant to travel.
My worst experiences with food in travelling were probably “day tours” in SE Asia, Thailand and Cambodia. Drivers drove us around to the monuments we wanted to visit. Lunch time was always a tourist trap in the middle of nowhere countryside restaurant, price was medium price for a local, but food was so bad. Once I told the driver I didn’t want to eat there. He pretended or maybe he didn’t understand and just left us there. Of course the driver got commissions from the restaurant.
A few times restaurant bills was higher than expected when arrived, with mistakes of dishes we didn’t order in Vietnam and another time in Thailand. In Vietnam, they gave us a 10% off for a dish we didn’t order but had eaten (we thought it was a part of the other dish we ordered). I negotiated to 50% but on the bill I saw it was round up to 40% off. I didn’t want to fight more… In Thailand, the cocktail in error (not the one I have ordered, but 3x the price of mine), they just offered the cocktail for free.
We ran into this at Angkor Wat - our driver tried to convince us to eat at one of the lousy on-site places, and we insisted on being taken back into town for lunch (which was only like 10:00 away, so no big deal). We tipped him at the end of the day what I thought was a normal amount, and what he apparently considered unbelievably generous, so I guess we were forgiven for our stubbornness.
Actually I was talking about Angkor as well. I guess your tip made up his day.
On a Vietnamese boat trip for a few days in Halong Bay, we didn’t tip generously as we considered the guide was sick most of the time, and wasn’t doing his job, most of the time he was sleeping in his cabin. He got so upset and changed face from his gentle smiling one to an instant black face and left the boat without even saying goodbye.